Cat Project Archives for February-29-march-4-2016,
29, 2015 - "Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." -
Robert A. Heinlein
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "I sing the song of my people."
Mewvie: "It's snowing! Come outside and play!"
Street Art: The abstract cat.
Toby finds forever home.
By Tammy Grubb
N.C. | Clients of the Charles House at Winmore sat
a little straighter, hands folded in their laps and
some smiling broadly, as Toby the Silver Tiger walked
in the room.
“ To-by! Toby the Tiger,” one woman sang, clapping her hands in time.
The black and silver-striped cat sniffed out his surroundings, rubbing
against shoes and chair legs. He stopped, turning his head to listen
with each new sound.
Owner Charlene Hayes wadded a piece of paper and tossed it across the
floor. Toby poked his paws forward, kicking it around while the residents
laughed, some reaching down to run a hand over his fur as he darted under
“ Cats. They’re just so clever,” said Fred Heinzel, who visits
Charles House every day. He’s got two black cats — Ben and Jerry — at
home who love to chase each other. It’s nice when Toby stops by the Charles
House, he said.
The cat, now 10 months old, has found a forever family with Hayes and
a growing career as a companion for older adults with dementia and other
health issues. His “play dates” regularly take him to Charles
House and other senior communities.
Toby is “curious and affectionate,” family friend Carla Shuford
said. “It’s the perfect combination for a therapy cat.”
He’s also blind.
Shuford connected Hayes, a therapy-dog foster parent and former animal
clinic employee, with Toby last year after learning that the then-12
week old cat was available for adoption from the Independent Animal Rescue
The family had to act fast, Hayes said. They picked up Toby on Saturday
and, by Sunday, were packed into a car with three cats for the 33-hour
drive west to their summer home in Mexico. Hayes’s other cats Rikki
Tikki Tavi, 8, and Alli Bali G, 15, also are blind.
Cats can be born or go blind for many reasons, from heredity to trauma,
diet and disease. Toby’s eyes were underdeveloped, causing his
eyelids and lashes to turn under. He had surgery in December to close
them, reducing the chance of irritation and infection, Hayes said.
Blind cats don’t know they’re blind, so life for Toby is
fairly typical, she said. He perches in the window, listening to the
winds and birds. He rolls around in the flowers and sharpens his claws
on pieces of wood. He plays with his brothers, especially hide-and-seek,
“ They would run in the bedroom and jump on the bed and not move,” she
said. “As soon as he would walk in the room, he would smell the air and
jump on the bed, like, OK, I found you. So it is pretty amazing what other senses
come forward to make up for the eyesight loss.”
Navigating a new space is simple once Toby learns the layout, she said.
He’s learned to use the stairs — he backs down like a toddler,
she said — and jump between objects and to the floor. Hayes taps
her finger where she wants him to go. He wears a leash outside.
“ When he’s running full speed, he doesn’t know any parameters,” she
said. “He could fall into the pool, he has run into a tree, so we’re
just trying to make sure that he’s going to be safe.”
Noisy toys are great, Hayes said, but she’s also teaching residents
to go “fishing” for Toby by snapping ribbons in the air and
pulling them across the floor. They cheered when Toby snagged his claw
on the ribbon, wrestling it to the floor.
“ It’s all about entertainment for them, but it’s also for
them to have the hands-on (experience), touching the fur,” she said. “If
he hasn’t made his rounds, before we leave, I pick him up and make sure
everybody has some fur time.”
Toby visits for 30 minutes to an hour, sitting by the front door when
he’s ready to go. Staff members have started to let them know when
someone having a rough day might need more attention, Hayes said. The
visits have inspired at least one resident to rethink staying in bed
all day, she said.
“ Sometimes it makes a big difference to have something to look forward
to,” Hayes said.
1, 2015 - "The reason cats climb is so that they can
look down on almost every other animal... it's also the
reason they hate birds." - K.C. Buffington
Gratuitous Kittiness: "A cat's place is, well, here."
Mewvie: "No games. Pet me!"
Feline Art: Cat-too.
2, 2015 - "Every dog has his day -- but the nights
are reserved for the cats." - Unknown
Gratuitous Kittiness: "He's touching me again."
Mewvie: Kitten therapy.
Art: The perfect cat bed.
Seemed Perfectly Content Right Up Until Point He
Bolted Out Of Room
The Onion (humor)
NJ—Twenty-eight-year-old Jason Wagner confirmed
Tuesday that his cat, Pepper, seemed totally relaxed
and content up until the moment he jumped from the
living room couch onto the floor and darted out of
the living room. “For 15 minutes he was purring,
sitting on my lap—asleep even—but, just
like that, it all changed,” Wagner said of
his cat’s abrupt, 180-degree mood shift. “One
moment, you think he could lie there the entire day,
and the next he’s on some sort of impromptu
search-and-destroy mission.” At press time,
Pepper had reportedly walked calmly back into the
room, leapt onto the couch, and lain down as if nothing
3, 2015 - "A home without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted
and properly revered cat, may be a perfect home, perhaps;
but how can it prove its title?" - Mark Twain
Gratuitous Kittiness: There are two types of cats.
Feline Art: Vintage cat art.
4, 2015 - "I don't mind a cat, in its place. But its
place is not in the middle of my back at 4 a.m." -
Maynard Good Stoddard
Gratuitous Kittiness: A handfull of precious.
Mewvie: Elvis will not be ignored.
Art: Japanese postcard art.
Bond Was So Strong, They Died Within Hours Of Each
by Jill Layton
grandma and her cat were inseparable — in life
and in death.
Four hours after my grandma's 15-year-old cat died, my grandma passed
away, too, and I don't think it was a coincidence.
Gabby was 2 years old when my Grandma and Grandpa adopted her. When they
brought her home, she immediately went upstairs, found a bed to curl
up on and made herself comfortable. She knew she was in the right place — for
a nap and for life.
Shortly after Gabby became a permanent member of the family, Grandpa
died. Not able to keep up with a big house on their own, Grandma and
Gabby moved into an apartment complex for seniors, where help was offered
if they needed it, but still allowed for independence.
As a kid, I was enamored with the loving relationship between my grandma
and Gabby, and I knew that as soon as I was able to get my own pet, I
would. I wanted the same companionship and unconditional love that Grandma
and Gabby offered each other.
Until the very end, Gabby spent her days hanging out with Grandma and
her nights walking on Grandma's head while she tried to sleep. You know,
typical roommate stuff.
They both started to slow down around the same time, but continued to
be two sweet old ladies who enjoyed each other's company.
Eventually, Gabby would keep to herself for most of the day, and she
wasn't interacting much with Grandma. Grandma wasn't able to eat much
anymore, and had dropped too much weight. They were both nearing the
end, and Gabby was ready.
Grandma took her to the vet and together they decided the best thing
to do would be to put her to sleep. Grandma held Gabby and comforted
her as she closed her eyes for the last time.
Grandma lost her best friend and, perhaps, her soul mate. After Gabby
was gone, Grandma went home and took a nap on the couch. She never woke
She died four hours after Gabby. Maybe it was just her time and a strange
coincidence, maybe she died of a broken heart or maybe their souls couldn't
Nowadays, my dog and I are just as obsessed with one another as Grandma
and Gabby were. And I have Grandma to thank for instilling in me the
importance of having pets and loving them hard.
I like to think that Gabby was there in spirit to comfort Grandma as
she took her last breath, just as Grandma did for Gabby a few hours earlier.
They are buried together, and I'm certain their bond is still just as
strong as it was when they were two little old ladies loving life and